Struggling CompuServe plans to slash costs after reporting a $29.6 million loss for its first financial quarter, ending July 31. The online service said it is in the process of cutting 150 jobs and plans to close its Sprysoft Internet software development arm.
CompuServe said the unexpectedly high loss was caused by the launch of its new WOW! service aimed at online newbies, and a new version of the CompuServe front-end, due in the UK for October. More bad news came with the announcement that its membership has fallen to 3.3 million, down about 100,000 on the previous month. CompuServe is a distant second to America Online in online services.
A spokesman said that the situation is healthier here. "The UK and Europe are still growing. We have doubled in the last 12 months and have 350,000 members in the UK and 700,000 in Europe."
CompuServe plans to launch the WOW! service in the UK by the end of the year.